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One-pot Pasta al Limone by Anna Jones

From Anna Jones, EASY WINS

Pasta al limone. I can't think of a plate of food that shines a light on lemon flavour in quite the same way. Pasta, lemon, and Parmesan come together in alchemy to create something worthy of any table.

I tested out a lot of pasta al limone recipes before I landed here. Some had cream, some had finely chopped lemon but none came close to the creaminess of this one and none was as easy. The one-pan method (where you cook the pasta and sauce in one pan) was made for pasta al limone. The starchy water it creates is exactly what is needed to thicken the lemony sauce and coat the pasta. I like to keep this pretty simple. I have suggested some basil as an option at the end, but these simple lemony noodles are enough on their own and a true pantry pasta. If you like, you could add some greens or even stir through some warmed cannellini beans.

One-pot pasta al limone

400g spaghetti or linguine
2 large unwaxed lemons
1 clove of garlic, peeled and bashed but kept whole
100ml olive oil
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
50g salted butter or vegan butter 40g Parmesan or vegan
Parmesan-style cheese (I use a vegetarian one), grated
½ a bunch of basil (15g), leaves picked and torn (optional)


Fill the pasta pan
Put 400g spaghetti or linguine into a large lidded saucepan. Grate in the zest of 2 large unwaxed lemons. Add 1 clove of garlic, peeled and bashed but kept whole, 100ml olive oil, and 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt. 

Add water and cook
Add 1-litre boiling water, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, remove the lid and simmer for 8 minutes, using a pair of tongs to turn the pasta in the thickening pasta water every 30 seconds or so as it cooks.

Add the lemon juice
Once the pasta has had 8 minutes, squeeze in the juice of one of the zested lemons and simmer for a final 2 minutes with the lid off.

Finish the pasta
Once almost all the water has evaporated, take the pan off the heat, stir in 50g salted butter or vegan butter and 20g grated Parmesan or vegan Parmesan-style cheese, and leave to sit for a minute or two, so the pasta can absorb most of the remaining water and form a lemony sauce. Taste and add more salt, lemon juice, butter, or olive oil as needed. Tangle into 4 bowls and finish with the rest of the Parmesan and ½ a bunch of torn basil leaves, if you like.



Extracted from EASY WINS: 12 flavour hits, 125 delicious recipes, 365 days of good eating by Anna Jones
(Published by 4th Estate on 14th March, £28).
Photography by Matt Russell.